Jun 13, 2012 7:35 PM by Erin Steuber
The federal lawsuit filed by ten, past and present, police officers against the city and Lafayette Police Department. The federal suit lists a familiar accusation. But would history really repeat itself? Among other things the officers allege illegal wiretapping. The officers named as plantiffs in the suit, admit to micing themselves for years, and say they have tape recordings of a fellow officer admitting phone calls are monitored at the police department. The difference is, in Louisiana you can record a conversation if at least one of the parties knows about it. In the recording, given to us by the officers' attorney, you hear Officer Scott Poeincot and a fellow officer having a conversation. The officer acknowledges the use of illegal wiretapping, even citing a specific time when he, himself, did not feel comfortable entering a room knowing officers could eavesdrop.
We do not know if that is going on, or if it's even being investigated now that the allegation has been made.
If this sounds familiar, it's happened before inside the Lafayette Police Department. In 2008, former Police Chief Randy Hundley pled guilty to one count of malfeasance in office, after he was accused of bugging his secretary's office. But in the Hundley case, a recording device was found and it was placed there without the secretary's knowledge. Hundley retired, and current Police Chief Jim Craft took his place.
A civil suit filed against Hundley, over that incident, was settled for $23,000. As for Hundley's criminal record, he was sentenced to 12-months probation. His record has since been expunged at the request of Hundley's attorney.
LPD and LCG's Attorney Michael Corry stresses wiretapping is not the correct word.
He says "Phone lines at LPD are indiscriminately recorded for the purpose of protecting and serving the public in the ordinary course of police business. Certain individuals are authorized to monitor those recordings. The monitoring is never done while the person is on the phone. As per LPD policy all employees are aware that certain lines in the department are taped, just like they are at 911."
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